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<div> <div>On 8 November 2017, junta head Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha posed six questions to the Thai people, seeking their opinions on Thai politics and politicians, and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). The questions have been interpreted as an indication that the junta is considering prolonging its power in the post-election era through military-supported political parties.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Prayut intends to assign the Interior Ministry to collect responses from across the country. He did the same thing in May with four questions on elections. </div></div>
<p>The junta leader has announced that the regime will use its absolute power to speed up development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).</p> <p>On 24 October 2017, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, announced after the ministerial meeting that the government is preparing to invoke Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to speed up development of the EEC, according to the&nbsp;<a href="">Thai News Agency</a>.</p>
<div> <div>Political parties, despite their divergent ideologies, are united in urging the junta to lift its ban on political activity now that the Organic Act on Political Parties is in effect. </div></div>
<p>The Deputy Prime Minister has announced that the US has agreed to resume selling weapons to the Thai government. &nbsp;</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, on 3 October 2017 told the media after a meeting in which he represented the junta leader and PM, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, that the US has agreed to resume selling weapons to Thailand after the 2014 coup d’état halted sales.</p>
By Atipong Pathanasethpong |
<p dir="ltr">My name is Atipong Pathanasethpong and I am the Spokesperson for the Project for a Social Democracy. You may have heard of my colleague at the Project for a Social Democracy, John Draper, the PhD student in Public Affairs Management at Khon Kaen University in Northeast Thailand who just over week ago offered to organize a mass surrender to the Thai authorities for attending the International Conference on Thai Studies in Chiang Mai, in solidarity with five academics and students charged with illegal political assembly there.</p>
By Kornkritch Somjittranukit |
<div> <div>After a trial lasting more than two years, former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ultimately decided to flee the country before her Rice Pledging Scheme’s judgement day.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Her destination remains unconfirmed though the media have made various guesses including Singapore, Dubai and the UK. </div></div>
<div> <div>Citing the need for education reform, the junta has invoked Section 44 to allow outsiders to serve as executives in Thai universities.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On 8 August 2017, the Royal Gazette published <a href="">NCPO Head Order No. 37/2560</a> called “The Solution for Problems in University Administration”.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The order claims that problems in the selection process for university executive positions have led to inconsistency, inefficiency and obstruction of national education reform. </div></div>
<p>The Ministry of Defence has claimed that soldiers merely asked for cooperation from a high-school student activist who was visited by plainclothes soldiers. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p>The junta has revealed its blueprint for national reconciliation, combining the late King’s philosophy with the junta’s 20-year national strategy.</p> <p>On 17 July 2017, Lt Gen Kukiat Srinaka of Army Region 1 presided over a public forum on the ‘social contract for unity and reconciliation’, the blueprint for the junta’s national reconciliation plan.</p> <p>The social contract was drafted by a subcommittee under the junta-appointed Committee on National Reform, National Strategy, and Reconciliation, most of whose members are military officers.</p>
<p>Railway workers have urged the junta leader to halt amendment of the railway law, citing lack of public participation.</p>
<p>A former MP from the Democrat Party has questioned the junta over the disproportionate number of military appointments to the boards of state enterprises.</p> <p>On 10 July 2017, Rachada Dhnadirek, former MP of the Democrat Party,&nbsp;<a href="">publicly pondered&nbsp;</a>how serious Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, is about corporate governance.</p> <p>Rachada pointed out that military officers have been appointed to the boards of almost every state enterprise.</p>
By Stephen A. Evans and John Draper |
<p>In a televised address on 17 June 2017, General Prayut Chan-o-cha released ‘50 <a href="">thoughts</a>’. The junta leader took great pains to emphasize that the ‘thoughts’ were not questions, and made it clear, in fact, that he does not necessarily want answers — he apparently simply wants the people to hear and to approve the junta’s principles and logic.</p>